New copyright Contract Law in the Netherlands

On the 1st of July 2015 a new Copyright Contract Act has been adopted in the Netherlands. The aim of this act is to strengthen the position of an author in relation to the exploiter. This law does not grand protection to the fictional authors and legal entities.

The most important rules are:

-         For the granting of an exclusive license is a deed executed for this purpose required;

-         An author is entitled to “fair compensation” for granting of a right of exploitation;

-         An author has the right to additional compensation if the agreed compensation is disproportionate to the actual gain by exploiter (so-called “bestseller regulation”); 

-         An author is entitled to terminate the contract if the other party does not sufficiently exploit the copyright to the work within reasonable time;

-          For the disputes with regard to the exploitation contract it is possible to establish a special commission for the dispute resolution;

-         A clause that is unreasonably onerous for an author will be avoidable.

This new legal act is important for both – authors and parties which want to exploit copyrights of others.  So it is important to review old contracts with regard to the exploitation of copyrights to ensure that they are compatible for the future use. Furthermore this law applies to all new contacts which are to be made.

Emilia Zalewska